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Posts tagged ‘depression’

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Colleges in Crisis: let’s talk about young adult mental health

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The Tulane community has suffered several tragedies during the Fall 2014 semester, highlighting the need for awareness and advocacy for mental health issues on campus. Tulane isn’t alone in this mental health crisis. Colleges across the country struggle to meet the needs of their students and reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness. In order for us to come together as a community, we must talk about the unique mental health challenges college students face. Students must feel empowered to discuss mental health issues, while supporting and encouraging their peers to seek help when they need it.

See my article in The Hullabaloo to learn more about college mental health.

More Resources for College Mental Health:

Active Minds

The Jed Foundation

ULifeLine.org

National Institute of Mental Health

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Seasonal Affective Disorder on College Campuses

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The days are getting shorter, the sunshine fades faster and the winter chill has arrived on Tulane’s campus. While the winter weather brings with it the anticipation of holiday vacations and festive cheer, it can also be a stressful time for college students as final exams draw near. For many, the change of season also brings a change of mood, known as seasonal affective disorder or major depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern. This disorder often begins in the late teens and early 20′s, with prevalence rates in college students ranging from 5 to 13 percent. Learn more about this seasonal phenomenon here.

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The Hidden Harms of Hazing

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Hazing is a practice often talked about on college campuses, particularly when students are considering which organizations to join. Despite strict rules banning this behavior, hazing still occurs regularly and is often considered a part of campus culture. The National Study of Student Hazing, including responses from 11,000 undergraduate students at 53 colleges and universities, found that more than half of college students involved in campus organizations experience hazing.

Why does this tradition still persist, despite strict rules against it? What are the hidden psychological dangers of hazing? What can college campuses do about it? Check out my latest article in The Hullabaloo here!

Hazing Resources:

StopHazing.org

HazingPrevention.org

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The Hookup Culture: does casual sex lead to depression, anxiety and low self-esteem?

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It is no secret that casual sex is common on college campuses. In fact, studies have shown that 60 to 80 percent of college students have had some type of casual sex experience. Much research has focused on the link between casual sex and the negative effects it may have on a person’s mental health, such as contributing to depression, anxiety or low self-esteem. Much of this research is inconclusive or with mixed results. However, new research has indicated that it is not if a person participates in casual sex but the reasons behind their actions that contribute to negative emotional effects.  To learn more, check out my latest article in The Tulane Hullabaloo.

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How to recognize warning signs of suicide in college

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Suicide is the second-largest leading cause of death on college campuses, with approximately 1,100 students dying by suicide every year. Click my latest column below to learn more about suicide in college students, the risk factors and warning signs, and knowing how and when to seek support. Although the answer to preventing these tragedies is complicated, it can certainly start with educating ourselves about this tragic mental health issue.

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How does social media make you feel?

 

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Do you ever make a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram post and then keep checking the likes, favorites, and retweets? Are you annoyed by selfies, yet take many of your own? How great do all those birthday wishes on Facebook feel? And don’t you wish people would just stop posting about their fabulous vacations and engagement rings!?

Social media is a great way to keep in touch with friends, share good news and network for business. However, there is a dark side to social media. Check out my latest article in the Tulane Hullabaloo!

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Self-injury is common and treatable in college

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As a psychiatry resident working in New Orleans, I have the opportunity to treat a wide range of interesting people. I also have the great opportunity to work with college students when they show up to the Tulane emergency room in crisis. Something that I often see in these students and other young adults is a pattern of self-injury.

What may seem strange or scary to some, is a daily impulse for others. Check out my latest column in The HullabalooScreen Shot 2013-11-14 at 7.36.10 PM

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LGBTQ Mental Health: Facing the Double Stigma

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The LGBTQ community is a population that is faced with stigma and stereotypes. Because of this, those in this minority population are often more susceptible to mental health issues and are at higher risk for suicide. In fact, LGBTQ adults are 2.5x more likely than heterosexuals to have had a mental health disorder related to mood, anxiety or substance abuse, in their lifetime. Furthermore, the rates of suicide attempt among LGBTQ youth are 20-40% higher than among non-LGBTQ youth.

In this week’s Psych Gumbo, Dr. Holly Peek discusses mental health issues of the LGBTQ community with special guest, Dr. Myo Thwin Myint. Dr. Myint is a physician with training in pediatrics, general psychiatry and child & adolescent psychiatry. Among others, his interests includes LGBTQ mental health.

Here are some recommended resources for more information on LGBTQ mental health:

It Gets Better Project

The Trevor Project

Family Acceptance Project 

National Alliance on Mental Illness: GLBT Resources

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Can Exercise be a Treatment for Depression?

DepressionThe answer seems to be yes! For those with mild depression, exercise can be used as sole treatment under a psychiatrist’s or mental health professional’s supervision. For those with moderate or severe depression, exercise is a great adjunct for treatment. How does this work and exactly how much exercise does it take? Check out my guest blog post appearing on exercisemenu.com to find out!

Read my article here: Can Exercise Treat Depression?

 

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Emotional Recovery after the Boston Bombing

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The five days of terror in Boston began with a horrific bombing and ended with a police shoot out, a capture of a terrorist, and finally celebrations in the street. For the victims, their families, and the people living in Boston, the fear, uncertainty and anger that lasted for those five days undoubtedly caused a great deal of mental distress. For the rest of us glued to our televisions watching non-stop coverage of the terrorist attack, the feelings we experienced were equally unsettling.

Victims and witnesses to the violent events of last week may be faced with a range of negative emotions. Not all negative feelings are pathological. It’s natural to feel anger, frustration, helplessness, grief, sadness or fear after a terrorist event. Acute stress disorder and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) occur when a person has experienced or witnessed a traumatic event and felt an intense fear or helplessness. They may feel detached or be described as “being in a daze” either while the event is happening or afterwards. They will frequently re-experience the event through recurrent dreams, thoughts, or flashbacks and often avoid recollecting the trauma either by avoiding conversations, people, places, or activities they may associate with the event. They have symptoms of increased arousal, including difficulty sleeping, irritability or outbursts of anger, difficulty concentrating or an exaggerated startle response. Symptoms of Acute Stress Disorder begin shortly after the traumatic event and the symptoms last for less than four weeks. Symptoms of PTSD, on the other hand, can present shortly after or months after the event and the symptoms may persist for years.

For the rest of the country, witnessing the events play repeatedly on television may not be enough to induce Acute Stress Disorder or PTSD, but it can certainly cause a sense of uneasiness and a reminder that there are people out there who commit evil acts when they are least expected. Some psychologists have described disasters caused by terrorism such as 9/11 and now the Boston bombings as “collective traumas.” Because of the large scale and unpredictability, collective traumas serve as a reminder that we are all vulnerable to death and harm and we have limited capabilities to protect those we love, thus threatening our sense of security in everyday life. In order to avoid feelings of uneasiness or paranoia, it’s important to keep the perspective that on any given day, the likelihood another attack will occur and that it will happen to you personally is quite low and it’s important to continue engaging in normal activities.

It’s also important to realize for every evil terrorist, there are millions of good people. The number of heroes that emerged in Boston were exponentially higher than the two hateful young men who inflicted so much pain. On the news, we heard stories of all the helpers that emerged during a time when many Bostonians needed help the most, both physically and emotionally. That in itself is reason enough to instill a sense of hope and comfort.

mr. rogers


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